Paul Mpagi Sepuya, ‘Desktop, April 2’, 2014, DOCUMENT

In his photographic compositions, Sepuya assembles found elements with personal significance: literature, camera equipment, poetry, older photographs, friends and lovers who hail from queer networks in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. His works are thus photographic composites layered in content and time, each individual photo bearing the traces of those that came before it.

About Paul Mpagi Sepuya

Informed by a critical understanding of art history, Paul Mpagi Sepuya deconstructs archetypal subjects like the male nude and self-portrait, meditating on the fragmentation of queer and photographed bodies. Manipulating perspective using mirrors, drapery, and collage, the Los Angeles-based photographer complicates subjective relationships within an image. The artist’s studio provides context for Sepuya’s site-specific commentary on portrait photography, the artistic process, and queer identities. Within this erotic queer space where experimentation is possible, Sepuya explores the tension between elusive desire and ambiguous sensuality. Sepuya wrote, “I want these queer, black photographs to exist within historic and contemporary conversations about photography as a whole, affirming the medium and my personal investment in its possible futures.”

American, b. 1982, San Bernardino, CA, USA, based in Los Angeles, CA, USA